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(BusinessWeek)   Old: "You suck at irrelevant interview questions and I don't like you." New: "You're just not a cultural fit for us"   (businessweek.com) divider line 379
    More: Asinine, interview question, American Sociological Review, Ernst & Young, job hunting, melting pot, marketing executives, Starship Enterprise, NWS  
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20790 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jan 2013 at 9:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-07 12:57:39 AM

zedster: WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
WWI Gen: Okay

Baby Boomers: I don't care about a pension, but I want job satisfaction with enough money to own a house and stuff.
WWII Gen
: Got it.


Generation X: I don't care about money or a long-term career, I just want to be a free spirit with my friends like my hippie parents.
Aging Hippies Now Gone Corporate: nope, you'll be selling your soul for a cubicle, but you can have all these stock options.

Echoboomers: I get that there's no money or job satisfaction, I just want a steady career that leaves me time for hobbies and raising the family my workoholic Baby Boomer parents didn't have time for.
Baby Boomers: nope you'll work 60 to 80 hours a week for less than we made at that age, and we're raiding social security
so you can never retire.


Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out, like my flaky Generation X parents wanted to.
Generation X: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?


This thread is really tl;dr by this point, but I wanted to help make that more specific.
 
2013-01-07 12:59:46 AM
God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.
 
2013-01-07 01:01:08 AM

BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


Amen, brother Bill.
 
2013-01-07 01:01:33 AM

balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.


Who says the "quiet ones" aren't a cultural fit?
 
2013-01-07 01:02:43 AM

balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.


Again spot-on. But introverts don't interview well, right?
 
2013-01-07 01:04:00 AM

stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.


Yep. Turns out you give an answer to the question "Do you like working on Saturday?" with "Well, after I get back from Synagogue in the morning, it's a nice change of pace." means I have become "culturally unfit" for the job.

/second post nailed it too
//Employee loyalty goes way down when the employer expects maximum productivity for the bare minimum in wages and/or no expectation of longevity, nor raises in earnings
 
2013-01-07 01:04:40 AM
I'm not a good culture fit. I don't like *people*, as a general rule. I really don't like my co-workers. I enjoy tasks that are similar to my job; but I don't really want to do my job. I get paid a 'fair wage' but that limits me to only put in a 'fair amount' of effort. I don't bust my ass for the good of the company, I do just enough to get 'good' reviews - nothing more. And the entire time, I have one foot out the door waiting for anything better to come along.

But I'm REALLY GOOD at interviews.

It's strange. I've had a lot of similar situations growing up. When I'm 'on' I can act a certain way - for example - high school debate or theater or being the class clown; but take that away and even though I appear outgoing and social, I just like *attention*, not the people that give it. Once I'm not 'on', I really don't care. I'm not friendly. I don't want to hear about your wife or your kids or your husband or your funny story or anything else. Meh. I just want to dick around for five hours, take a long lunch, and go home.

But put me in an interview - and bam - I'm Mr. Popular! Mr. Good Culture fit. Friendly, funny, knowledgeable...I don't know or plan what I'll say before I show up - but I'm really good at picking up on what they want me to say. Maybe, with some training, I could be some sort of cold-reading psychic...I don't know. One interview I find myself saying how work-life balance is important and how working at a big, faceless insurance company just wasn't for me; that I wanted to 'make a difference'. Got that job. Next interview I'm saying that I just wasn't challenged enough, that I was tired of doing a good job, I wanted to do a great job! I wanted to push myself and see just how far and how good I can become. Even the lunch-interview with co-workers....I could go 10 years without having lunch with a co-worker or asking them a question or caring about an answer; but when I'm on my job interview and we go out to lunch, bam, I can pretend to care. You like that sport? Oh yeah - me too! Why, I even used to play in high school. You guys are all nerds and have level 60 toons on WoW (this was years back when 60 was the cap) oh man! I love that game, let me tell you about my bot wrote! Yeah it *IS* awesome. You guys can't stand slackers who talk about WoW all day? Oh man, me neither. I had some coworkers and all they'd do is talk about stupid computer games. I mean seriously......

Whatever. All complete bullshiat. I want to do the minimum amount of work for the maximum amount of pay. I don't care what I work on. I don't care what the company does or makes or if it exploits 3rd world labor or donates profits to 3rd world countries - I just want my damn check. I'm currently in the banking/finance sector, so that's a more acceptable attitude, but I'd say it even if it weren't true in situations where I think people want to hear it.

But it's a GREAT feeling when someone tells you that you are overpaid for your work history, but offers you your asking salary. Or when they say, 'You don't quite have the qualifications we're looking for; but we are going to take a chance on you, because your a great fit for this role'.

I don't know what a better system would be, but putting a lot of value in someone's interview skills will get you candidates who are good at interviews - not good at work. If you put a value in cultural fit, you'll get people who can pretend to be likable during the interview/hiring phase.

I'm seven for seven in job interviews. If I can make it to the interview, I've gotten an offer 100% of the time. And I'm just some crappy slacker. I've got buddies from college who are twice the employee that I am, who interview poorly, who would be a MUCH BETTER choice than I - but companies are happy enough to hire a-holes like me.
 
2013-01-07 01:09:39 AM

coldf33t: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Who says the "quiet ones" aren't a cultural fit?


Because the whole interviewing process is designed to make extroverted people loook good. And there is a tremendous bias against introverts that people are attempting to justify by this "cultural fit" nonsense.

Extroverted people don't recognize (and frankly don't seem to care about) this fact. As they are the people who are (usually) making the hiring decisions in the first place.
 
2013-01-07 01:10:25 AM

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Again spot-on. But introverts don't interview well, right?


Not at all. Personally, I'm better at it than I used to be and have learned some of the tricks, but it's never going to be an asset.

Quiet ones may be a good fit, but they're more difficult to immediately assess than extroverts. A hiring manager has their own job to do, and it's quite natural for them to prefer the people whom they can judge most easily and get on with their day.
 
2013-01-07 01:12:05 AM

spamdog: I am convinced my employer likes me around not for my skills, but because I laugh easily and make some good one-liners.

No email funnies though. That's a no-no.


Add a large full pair of breasts and you'll be unstoppable.

Yes it's sexist and I'm sorry.
 
2013-01-07 01:15:02 AM

lumyai: It is possible to fit in to the workplace culture without likeing the same farking movies a nd TV shows.


I'm the only geek in my office, but my management likes my work, and even asks me for reviews of the latest movies and all. They're not into the same kind of thing, but I've steered them to some of the more generally interesting films. Also it's a yearly event when I get back from Dragon*Con and everyone wants to see pictures.
I'm in logistics, and do catch a lot of flak daily, but then hear from other divisions that they get compared to me on a regular basis on roughly a "Boojum can save more miles than this IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!" level, so I have job security.

/I've told management before if they want to hire someone who can properly cover for me, first question should be "Do you play Tetris?"
//Anyone better than me is already someplace else making bigger bucks anyway
 
2013-01-07 01:20:16 AM

BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


You sound like a blast to work with. No, really. I can't wait to work on a project with the guy who will give me the stink eye if I casually ask something as benign as "What did you think of 'The Hobbit?'"
 
2013-01-07 01:22:32 AM
Where do you see yourself in five years?
 
2013-01-07 01:23:28 AM

DarkSoulNoHope: stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.

Yep. Turns out you give an answer to the question "Do you like working on Saturday?" with "Well, after I get back from Synagogue in the morning, it's a nice change of pace." means I have become "culturally unfit" for the job.

/second post nailed it too
//Employee loyalty goes way down when the employer expects maximum productivity for the bare minimum in wages and/or no expectation of longevity, nor raises in earnings


Yeah, the Jews have it so hard in the business world. Hardly any of 'em doing well.
 
2013-01-07 01:24:17 AM
I just recently had the "cultural fit is/isn't BS" discussion with some folks I know at various places. One proponent of the "is BS" side made the point that it is all too easy to go from "hiring people who work well together" to "hiring people who work the same" to "hiring people who are the same" (including the more illegal manifestations of that). Which I agree is bad, especially as nobody "fits" 100% on day 1, ever, anywhere.

But I've had personal experience of the other side of it -- the employee who is highly qualified, obviously can do the work, but for whatever reason (sometimes a "soft skills" failing, sometimes just being radically at variance with the others in some way) nobody at the office can stand them. About two out of every three places I've worked has had one. The worst cases are when a new team has accreted around the remnants of an old one (sometimes a single holdover from the "old days"), developed its own new culture, and it's actually the longest-serving employees who no longer "fit".

Somehow you have to strike that happy medium between Dudebro Island and Prima Donna Central, where you have employees with differences and even the occasional argument but it doesn't turn into entrenched dislike. It helps if you're careful about hiring truly skilled employees and quickly correcting mistakes, because then everybody can start from the assumption that the other person isn't just disagreeing because they're incompetent.
 
2013-01-07 01:30:07 AM

Electriclectic: Where do you see yourself in five years?


Oh you know....piloting my own personal killbot mech through the city streets, strafing the mall with my machine-gun arms, and laughing maniacally as the people run screaming trying to avoid the stamping of my mecha-boots.

Why do you ask?
 
2013-01-07 01:30:38 AM
AloysiusSnuffleupagus: coldf33t: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Who says the "quiet ones" aren't a cultural fit?

Because the whole interviewing process is designed to make extroverted people loook good. And there is a tremendous bias against introverts that people are attempting to justify by this "cultural fit" nonsense.

Extroverted people don't recognize (and frankly don't seem to care about) this fact. As they are the people who are (usually) making the hiring decisions in the first placeAloysiusSnuffleupagus: coldf33t: balisane: God help the introverts. It probably takes me about a month to really feel comfortable and start cracking jokes in a new work environment, unless someone makes it their buisiness to shorten that warm-up period.

In that time, though, the office will be spotless, I'll have fixed at least three lingering issues, and have brought cookies twice. Don't look over the quiet ones.

Who says the "quiet ones" aren't a cultural fit?

Because the whole interviewing process is designed to make extroverted people loook good. And there is a tremendous bias against introverts that people are attempting to justify by this "cultural fit" nonsense.

Extroverted people don't recognize (and frankly don't seem to care about) this fact. As they are the people who are (usually) making the hiring decisions in the first place.


I am not an extrovert but I make the hiring decisions. Interviewing candidates for a new position is my least favorite thing to do. So, again... I will say: I look for a good fit for my team. I need someone that has everyone's back and can handle constant change in addition to the baseline education and skill set required.
 
2013-01-07 01:32:07 AM

xsarien: BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.

You sound like a blast to work with. No, really. I can't wait to work on a project with the guy who will give me the stink eye if I casually ask something as benign as "What did you think of 'The Hobbit?'"


Oh bollocks. The point is that your favorite movie is irrelevant to the conduct of your job. It's already illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation. Why? Because they are irrelevant to the job. So how is asking these other irrelevant questions that are supposed to assess "cultural fit" any different? I'm not saying they are illegal or even necessarily should be but you are being a bit hyperbolic here.
 
2013-01-07 01:36:36 AM
Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.
 
2013-01-07 01:38:23 AM
It sounds like they want a bunch of yes men, people who are going to agree with everything they say.
 
2013-01-07 01:38:43 AM

Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.


Sales
 
2013-01-07 01:41:58 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: DarkSoulNoHope: stiletto_the_wise: "Cultural Fit" is merely a way to disqualify an otherwise qualified candidate without having to disqualify them for one of those illegal reasons.

Yep. Turns out you give an answer to the question "Do you like working on Saturday?" with "Well, after I get back from Synagogue in the morning, it's a nice change of pace." means I have become "culturally unfit" for the job.

/second post nailed it too
//Employee loyalty goes way down when the employer expects maximum productivity for the bare minimum in wages and/or no expectation of longevity, nor raises in earnings

Yeah, the Jews have it so hard in the business world. Hardly any of 'em doing well.


Depends on what kind of Jew. If you're the rich Jew who has had the world handed to you on a silver platter (movie stars, business owners), then you're set for life and have nothing to worry about. On the other hand if you're a middle class or lower class Jew who is dealing with finding a new job that doesn't require Saturdays to be worked, then we're in the same boat as the rest of you. There is no Jewish cabal out there to help unemployed Jews get into well paying jobs that have flexible (to the employee, not just the employer) scheduling requirements.
 
2013-01-07 01:43:45 AM
Can someone tell me what it means when at the end of a telephone interview with a company's vice-president, he says the next step is to get me out for a site visit to their facility, and then in a few days the HR middlemen call to say the company isn't interested in me?

/I'm available immediately if you're looking for an engineer.
 
2013-01-07 01:44:05 AM

Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.


You should try being a commenter on Fark then.
 
2013-01-07 01:44:07 AM

coldf33t: Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.

Sales


Oddly enough, I'm horrible in sales. I'm not a born cheerleader and have a hard time talking people into buying shiat I know they don't really need or would.struggle to actually pay for.

/sold cars for one month
//sold rainbow "home cleaning systems"
///briefly sold my soul to Avon
////fark sales marketing
 
2013-01-07 01:44:55 AM

Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.


If you include alcoholism, you are a prime candidate for virtually any sales job in the country.
 
2013-01-07 01:45:45 AM

BokerBill: A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.


I work in a job that focuses heavily around customer service/tech support. I have asked similar questions to "What is your favorite movie" during interviews. In all honesty, I didn't really care about what their favorite movie was (at least in terms of the interview); I wanted to test their ability to connect with someone they never met before. Great customer service hinges heavily on being able to instantly make a connection with someone and be able to create an empathic link with them, even if you never met before. And that is something that is hard to really get from asking "professional" interview questions. You are right that interviews are not casual conversations, but they are tests and sometimes you need to think outside the box to get the real answers.

Now granted this is not the right tactic for every job and there are plenty of people out there who do ask those questions to hire people they personally like. I don't think you are totally off-base here. But I do think that immediately dismissing these kinds of questions is not seeing the forest for the trees.
 
2013-01-07 01:47:37 AM

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.

You should try being a commenter on Fark then.


Doesn't pay a decent wage. A nickel an hour to read and come up with snarky responses to all this tripe? Not this chick. I need at least a quarter.
 
2013-01-07 01:49:22 AM
The sad fact is that in most jobs, if you're interviewing without already knowing someone, you're not likely to get the job. If you're relying on the interview as your big step and nothing else, you've missed the point. Hiring, from top to bottom, doesn't work that way. Step 1 is knowing someone to refer you or who works at the company itself. If you do that step well enough, you often end up with the "Formality" interview.

Despite common appearances, HR departments are not as important as you're lead to believe, even in the largest companies. If someone above them says you're hired, you're going to be hired, barring your doing something stupid like failing a drug test.

If you want to get a better job, don't do what every other moron is doing to try to get a job -- if you do that, you're quite literally in a stack of papers containing "mostly morons."

If you get lucky and your first round of interviews or selection isn't done by HR (which is becoming rarer), then you have a chance at your interview meaning something.
 
2013-01-07 01:56:36 AM
It's been my experience that the longer, more drawn out, and more grueling the interview process is, the more likely I won't be happy there.

All those managers and engineers that are raking you over the coals, well, they each had a candidate in mind for their own groups but your hiring manager beat them out for the rec. Now they are going to prove they should have gotten the rec by showing everyone how unqualified you are and what a boob your hiring manager really is. The better you do in the interview, the more pissed off they are. Once you are in, you are never going to really be in because you are a threat and are not to be trusted.
Yay conflict!
If you find yourself in that position and you really, really need that job, at least you know what's up and can make the best of it. It's not you, it's them so leave the stress at your desk at the end of every day and keep looking!

Love my current job, they asked me to come work for them at the end of my contract and it was like putting on comfy slippers, best part, no interview!
 
2013-01-07 01:56:43 AM
What zedster said. Pay me shiat and I'll worry about my life goals or whatever. Pay me well and I'll be nice to you and worry about my life goals when I'm off the clock.
 
2013-01-07 01:57:28 AM

AloysiusSnuffleupagus: xsarien: BokerBill: FormlessOne: xsarien: BokerBill: What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite website? What's the last book you read for fun? What makes you uncomfortable?

- None of your business
- None of your business
- None of your business
- A rock in my shoe

/Not a good cultural fit with any company that thinks these are important questions to ask in a job interview.

Do you give douchy answers to those questions when they're asked in a casual setting? Because what's being measured here is your ability to have a normal conversation that doesn't involve "talking shop."

It's a little jarring and their purpose is pretty transparent these days, but they can also serve as a bit of an ice breaker in a normally tense situation, like, say, a job interview.

On the other hand, discovering the folks carrying the "YER NOT THE BOSS A' ME!" chip on their shoulders in four questions or less makes a job interview go that much faster.

A job interview is not a casual conversation: that's really the point here. This is not about "yer not the boss of me"; it's about what's appropriate and professional in the context of a job interview. If you really want to know what book I last read for fun - rather than for professional development - I might reasonably wonder if you ever hire anyone who isn't your personal friend.

On the other hand, on the job you are emphatically the boss of me. And it's still none of your business.
Like I said, if you think it's important what my favorite movie is - important enough to base a hiring decision on the answer, then it really doesn't matter whether we agree on favorite movies: I don't fit with your organization.
And I can decide that in four questions or less, too.

You sound like a blast to work with. No, really. I can't wait to work on a project with the guy who will give me the stink eye if I casually ask something as benign as "What did you think of 'The Hobbit?'"

Oh bollocks. The point is that your favorite movie is irrelevant ...


Hate the movie or love the movie. That's not the point. Questions that measure soft-skills are designed to measure whether or not I'm about to sign off on the company hiring someone no one wants to work with because they treat any socialization not related to the job as irrelevant and an annoying intrusion.

I suppose your outlook is fine if you just sit quietly in a cube all day, don't work with others, and have no goals beyond that. But in teams, personalities that mesh well produce better results than a bunch of people who are simply competent enough to get the job done.

I know it may be a shock to you, but being friends with people in the office - and in limited capacities this can include your manager - improves your morale and maybe you won't wake up every morning hating your damn job.
 
2013-01-07 01:58:54 AM

FitzShivering: The sad fact is that in most jobs, if you're interviewing without already knowing someone, you're not likely to get the job. If you're relying on the interview as your big step and nothing else, you've missed the point. Hiring, from top to bottom, doesn't work that way. Step 1 is knowing someone to refer you or who works at the company itself. If you do that step well enough, you often end up with the "Formality" interview.

Despite common appearances, HR departments are not as important as you're lead to believe, even in the largest companies. If someone above them says you're hired, you're going to be hired, barring your doing something stupid like failing a drug test.

If you want to get a better job, don't do what every other moron is doing to try to get a job -- if you do that, you're quite literally in a stack of papers containing "mostly morons."

If you get lucky and your first round of interviews or selection isn't done by HR (which is becoming rarer), then you have a chance at your interview meaning something.


I have never known anyone at a company I've been hired to. Also, I have not hired anyone that was referred to me (even by a big boss up the food chain). So far in this thread, I have only seen assumptions and generalities. Oh wait.... I just realized where I am. This is much too silly.
 
2013-01-07 02:01:17 AM

Jizz Master Zero: It's farking weird out there right now. I've never seen anything like it. I'm well qualified, over-qualified in many cases, for the jobs I've been applying for and have never had a single problem getting work before. I've always gotten accolades for my work and was well-liked everywhere I worked. What people in this thread don't seem to be understanding is that nowadays, their definition of "company culture" is less about finding someone who will get along with everyone else to help create the most productive environment possible and it's more about trying to create a clubhouse atmosphere. Ever seen the marketing or production departments at Revision3, CNET, or the like? It's more like a frat house than anything. Now I constantly lose out to kids that seem like they'd be better bar buddies than me. Three months later, the exact same job is back up because the kid couldn't handle the real work involved. I try again, get told again that I'm not a good cultural fit, they hire some kid that seems like he might be a blast to go grab some Pad Thai with, they shiatcan him two months later because he started crying the second he opened After Effects to do his first project without a template or a teacher holding his hand, wash, rinse, repeat. Thankfully I'm not the only source of income and make enough freelancing to fill the gaps. I'm about to give it one more go. If I find something, great. If not, fark it. Time to take the risk and fully strike out on my own. They want to be stuck in perpetual amateur hour because they're more concerned with finding a bestie? They're welcome to it.


Have you considered that maybe you don't fit in *because* it is time to strike out on your own?

If you know how to do the job, if you are confident in making the decisions, and if you would rather work the way that you want to work (knowing that your results will be good), then frankly you are ready to be your own boss.

It is more work (and I am struggling to get started myself-- in addition to a FT job), but I can't see how it won't be worth it.
 
2013-01-07 02:05:26 AM

Sygonus: my alt's alt's alt: i'm NOT an outgoing "people person" so when the interviewer is looking for a buddy or a fluid exchange of pointless small talk, it's game over for me. like i'd even WANT to work for a company that heralds fluffy social behavior over quality of work.

Problem is, the two aren't disconnected in a lot of jobs. What you call "fluffy social behaviour" could just as easily be called good interpersonal/collaboration skills. And the blunt fact of the matter is, those are important. I've seen firsthand the differences in quality that result from teams that really jive well together, and teams where effective collaboration is killed by a lack of cohesion or overly introverted people.

Yes, there are a lot of jobs where being introverted isn't as big a deal. But a lot of knowledge worker type positions require people who enjoy interacting with others.

The other reason employers care about "fluffy social behaviour" is that even if there's not a direct impact of said behaviour on employee collaboration, a sociable workplace often boosts employee morale and engagement, which in turn leads to higher job satisfaction and less turnover costs.


LOLOLOLOL at the bolded. As if there aren't legions of places who just for the love of god just HAVE to hurry up and get rid of that loud ME ME ME ME attention whore so everyone can get back to working in peace and often silence. I'm very much looking forward to a work-from-home, so that I can be in an environment without a bunch of loud arseholes who socialize three quarters or better of the time.


At the topic at hand, it's just the same old crap with a different label slapped on it. A small CSB - I got out of a workplace that allowed recent college grads to more or less hire their friends/cousins/roommates/friends friends/whatever, and it blew massive chunks. Little work got done, CONSTANT drama, massive turnover (went to the Christmas party the next year and half the staff was new) - it was bad news all around. Just hire the damn qualified people and tell the whiners to STFU and get back to work.
 
2013-01-07 02:05:48 AM

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: Have you considered that maybe you don't fit in *because* it is time to strike out on your own?

If you know how to do the job, if you are confident in making the decisions, and if you would rather work the way that you want to work (knowing that your results will be good), then frankly you are ready to be your own boss.


I haven't got the capital nor the borrowing power nor business knowledge needed to start my own business. There's a reason that engineering and business are in two different colleges at most universities.
 
2013-01-07 02:06:06 AM
Seems these days when I interview for a web-design/programming position I'm confronted with nothing but self-important hipsters, and it gives me a sad.
 
2013-01-07 02:07:25 AM
It always amuses me that in a recession companies flush with shiatloads of money in a way that makes them feel that they can't "afford" to hire "just anybody," it's got to be the right candidate that will satisfy the bean counters.

Corporate tyranny FTW.
 
2013-01-07 02:08:45 AM

whidbey: It always amuses me that in a recession companies flush with shiatloads of money in a way that makes them feel that they can't "afford" to hire "just anybody," it's got to be the right candidate that will satisfy the bean counters.

Corporate tyranny FTW.


FTFY.
 
2013-01-07 02:14:53 AM

Yoyo: FTFY.

www.information-facts.com
 
2013-01-07 02:18:46 AM

spamdog: I am convinced my employer likes me around not for my skills, but because I laugh easily and make some good one-liners.

No email funnies though. That's a no-no.


Humor and email seem to go together like toasters and bath water.
 
2013-01-07 02:36:58 AM

Kensey: But I've had personal experience of the other side of it -- the employee who is highly qualified, obviously can do the work, but for whatever reason (sometimes a "soft skills" failing, sometimes just being radically at variance with the others in some way) nobody at the office can stand them. About two out of every three places I've worked has had one. The worst cases are when a new team has accreted around the remnants of an old one (sometimes a single holdover from the "old days"), developed its own new culture, and it's actually the longest-serving employees who no longer "fit".


LOL, that is where I am right now.  There was an older team that worked like a well-oiled machine, and then everyone quit except me.  So the new ones came in, without any proper training, and management actually changed a ton of rules to suit them, at my expense.  I get icy stares everywhere I go at the office, right up until someone in the clique runs into a crisis that only someone with the original training can handle.  Then all of a sudden I'm their best friend right up until I've finished doing the hard part of their job
 
2013-01-07 03:04:13 AM

stiletto_the_wise: This kind of mentality is how likable frat boys get hired over people who studied hard and know their shiat. Feel lucky you don't have a "Google equivalent" in your industry to compete with.


I've only needed one asshole competent worker to realize that "cultural fit" is an extremly important condition. Being competent does not mean shiat when you manage to piss off half the persons you are supposed to collaborate with on a day-to-day basis.
 
2013-01-07 03:30:59 AM

tripleseven: Would you like to hear my Google interview story?

It's rather amusing. If a little sad.


I would be interested in hearing this
 
2013-01-07 03:39:40 AM
Just as with "social competence" this looks a lot like a good way for the HR people to just pick whoever they'll prefer to talk crap with in the break room instead of actually having to try and find out who'd do the best job. Since, you know, that'd require them to do actual work, instead of just talking crap with the applicants for half an hour.
 
2013-01-07 03:41:32 AM
I find you have to constantly reassert your role as a worker today. I like to emphasize the word worker whenever I can. I'm someone on the low-end of the totem pole, and there is this emphasis to make workers seem to the public like they are part of some movement. They call workers associates, specialists, etc., and show them smiling and happy, doing work for customers outside of their normal purview (like the ad with the Apple Genius at his customer's wife's delivery).

Inside these companies, they don't pay you well, but they have games and incentives that treat you like you're a kindergartner but that try to make you feel like your part of something. I did phone support from home for Apple, and one week the incentive was that if your team sold more AppleCare than another team, the other team's lead would have to dress up in drag and sing "I feel pretty" via webam (it was a virtual job). I would get messages from my team lead asking me if I was "pumped" about the contest.

I really had no idea what to say. If I described my feelings, they would be complex and reflect my thoughts about gender and sexuality. Culturally, I guess I was not like the other people who were able to laugh at that. Not that I am one of those politically correct people. I just don't laugh easily at stupid things. When I was in training at this virtual job, they have complete control over your computer, and during breaks they played (over my computer's speakers) this really annoying song called the "Peanut Butter Jelly Song." I never got the joke. Apparently it was funny. And people would spend their break talking with the lead about how much they liked the funny song.

But back to the contest, I was getting paid $9/hour with incredibly stressful metrics I had to meet to keep my job let alone watch some guy I didn't know sing in drag.

I just wanted to yell, "I am a worker!" I'm not whatever that person is who cares about some other person singing in drag if I sell enough AppleCare.

I was working from home, and the job was way to familiar.

I don't know that I'll ever be at the level where I am interviewing for the types of jobs described in this article, but I still resent the curiosity: where do you travel over the summers, for example, or favorite books. What if traveling to mud flats to read Mein Kampf is my thing? What does it matter?

In case you're wondering, I 1) don't travel over the summers and 2) don't read. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.

Why isn't it enough to be a worker with privacy outside of work? If they want to be voyeurs into my life outside of work, I feel like I should be charging.

/I sound like a bad cultural fit, rereading this.
 
2013-01-07 04:16:28 AM

falcon176: loyalty is dead don't give employers 2 weeks notice, they won't give you 2 hours


I've only had one job years ago that did that to me, so I guess I'm lucky. However others where I did give notice I did it on the last day of a pay period so at least a full last check was coming. Nothing like that 2 hr firing with a short pay and bills are due.
 
2013-01-07 04:31:41 AM

Indypendy: coldf33t: Indypendy: Currently in the market for a job that only requires the heavy use of sarcasm, swear words, and an unfailing ability to b.s.

Sales

Oddly enough, I'm horrible in sales. I'm not a born cheerleader and have a hard time talking people into buying shiat I know they don't really need or would.struggle to actually pay for.

/sold cars for one month
//sold rainbow "home cleaning systems"
///briefly sold my soul to Avon
////fark sales marketing


Even though you are that way you can still make hand over fist, I did that while at ATT. I was the complete anti-sales anti-company stooge but boy did I sell and boy did I sell a crap ton. I was a straight shooter with people and I played no games and my customers and their friends and family all appreciated it and I got a lot of word of mouth very quickly. I ended up with a stack of awards, national recognition and a bunch of free stuff from all "high sales" conventions/award ceremonies. I am glad I left though because ATT is were souls go to die.
 
2013-01-07 04:34:05 AM
HR people can just die..Burn in the fire pits and die.. Humans are not "Resources" to be mined like
and exploited like a vein of minerals. HR is a arbitrary construct to squeeze the life from people
through mindless regulation and policy and legalese and give back as little as possible using the
same.
 
2013-01-07 04:51:01 AM

zedster: FTFA:""These trends are being driven by millennials because they care about culture," says Dan Schawbel, author of Me: 2.0. "Research shows that millennials typically stay at a job for about two years-and they have different priorities. They'd rather have meaningful work over more pay, or work for a company that gives back or cares about the environment. They want a culture that's less hierarchical, more flexible, and more understanding of difference, because millennials are the most diverse generation."

NO NO NO NO NO NO

WWII Gen: Hey I'll get a job and work at it for 20+ yrs, return you'll give me benefits like a pension
Business: Okay

Baby Boomers: I'd like what my parents had
Business: nope you'll have a 401K that we will raid and no job security

Millennials: If I'm not going to be making great money and have no job security I'd rather work someplace I like and move on when I burn out
Business: Why do you have no loyalty? come back?

If I had the choice between culture or a place that actually took care of it's employees without screwing them over I would take the security. Having fallen into IT I have to say the contractor system is not going to inspire me to do anything less then the bare minimum, what incentive do I have? I have no profit share, no chance of getting hired on (always a false carrot they dangle), and very little security. At best Millennials are just waiting for the huge delayed wave of Baby Boomer to retire and open up the job market for them, at worst you are looking at generation that will have far less opportunity and quality of life then their parents.


THIS

/working and have worked as a contractor
 
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